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Browns vs. Bengals: Analyzing the Snap Counts (Defense)

Looking at the defensive snap counts in the Browns' 41-20 loss to the Bengals.

Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

The Browns' defense wasn't the problem in the 41-20 loss to the Bengals, as odd as that may sound if you only look at the score. He is a telling stat: the Browns held Cincinnati to just 1-of-14 on third downs. The snap count distributions for the Browns' defenders against the Bengals are listed below. [Week 11 offensive snap counts for Cleveland can be found here]

Defensive Line
Desmond Bryant Phil Taylor Ahtyba Rubin John Hughes Billy Winn Armonty Bryant
38/62 plays
38/62 plays
37/62 plays
23/62 plays
19/62 plays
9/62 plays

Phil Taylor: 2 assists (2 combined).
Ahtyba Rubin:
1 tackle, 3 assists (4 combined).
Desmond Bryant: 1 assist (1 combined).
John Hughes: 5 assists (5 combined). 1 pass defended.
Armonty Bryant: 1 tackle (1 combined). 1 tackle for loss.
Billy Winn:
1 tackle (1 combined).

Thoughts: The stats aren't going to be flashy for most of the defensive players in this one. The reps got back to what we are more used to, with DE Armonty Bryant on the lower end of things. NT Phil Taylor summed up his thoughts after the game with this:

Inside Linebacker
D'Qwell Jackson Tank Carder
Craig Robertson
62/62 plays
38/62 plays
23/62 plays

D'Qwell Jackson: 1 tackle, 8 assists (9 combined).
Tank Carder: 2 tackles, 5 assists (7 combined).
Craig Robertson: 1 tackle, 2 assists (3 combined).

Thoughts: LB Craig Robertson suffered a knee sprain and had to leave the game; he is getting an MRI on that. Taking his place was special teamer Tank Carder; Cleveland is very thin at the position, so hopefully Robertson's fine (although I have been curious how someone else would do in his place...).

Outside Linebacker
Paul Kruger
Jabaal Sheard
Barkevious Mingo
Eric Martin Paul Hazel
42/62 plays
39/62 plays
38/62 plays
7/62 plays
4/62 plays

Paul Kruger: 2 assists (2 combined).
Barkevious Mingo:
1 tackle, 1 assist (2 combined).
Jabaal Sheard: 2 tackles, 1 assist (3 combined). 1 quarterback hit.
Paul Hazel: No stats registered.
Eric Martin: No stats registered.

Thoughts: The Browns ended up working in OLB Barkevious Mingo as much as the starters. I know Jabaal Sheard got pressure a couple of times. Again, with how much the Bengals were going three-and-out themselves, our defenders were "quietly" getting the job done.

Joe Haden Buster Skrine Chris Owens
Leon McFadden
61/62 plays
61/62 plays
18/62 plays
2/62 plays

Joe Haden: 2 assists (2 combined). 2 interceptions, 2 passes defended, 1 touchdown.
Buster Skrine: 2 tackles, 3 assists (5 combined). 1 pass defended.
Chris Owens: 2 tackles (2 combined).
Leon McFadden: No stats registered.

Thoughts: The low amount of reps for CB Chris Owens indicates just how little we played nickel defense in this game, compared to usual. CB Joe Haden had an outstanding game, picking off QB Andy Dalton on back-to-back passes, one of which was run back for a touchdown in the first quarter. Dalton stayed away from Haden the rest of the game, meaning Haden pitched a shutout.

T.J. Ward
Tashaun Gipson
62/62 plays
61/62 plays

T.J. Ward: 2 tackles, 2 assists (4 combined).
Tashaun Gipson: 4 tackles, 1 assist (5 combined).

Thoughts: It sounded like S Tashaun Gipson or somebody else might have been responsible for TE Jermaine Gresham on the Bengals' first touchdown of the game; I'll have to see when I look at the film.